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Eller Eller is offline
Posted 8th July 2019, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 8

When and Where to Release


This is a first for me. I am fostering two feral pigeons and am wondering about when and where to release them. Can they learn to survive in my yard or is it best to try to release them around other pigeons? Will they be accepted by these other pigeons?
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 9th July 2019, 08:32 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
Posts: 2,362
How old were they when you found them? Are they fairly tame? Sometimes they get human imprinted when raised from a very young age, meaning they would rather associate with humans than with other pigeons.

If they are skittish around humans, you can try and do a soft release in your garden. But first, make sure they are able to eat all kinds of seeds and fly well. They also should be old enough to defend themselves against older pigeons. I think 2 months will be a good age for releasing.

Before releasing, they will need to spend time outside to get familiar with the area. An outside aviary will do. They need to spend about 2 weeks inside there before releasing. After releasing them, you still need to put down food and water for them. Being raised by humans, they don't know where to find food, shelter etc.
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Ladygrey Ladygrey is offline
Posted 10th July 2019, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eller View Post
This is a first for me. I am fostering two feral pigeons and am wondering about when and where to release them. Can they learn to survive in my yard or is it best to try to release them around other pigeons? Will they be accepted by these other pigeons?
The thing is, feral they are not anymore, as you took them in, so you want to make them feral again.

With kittens people don’t do this, but, they do with pigeons ... a lot.

I say keep them if you can accommodate them well. They will live longer with regular food and protection.

Last edited by Ladygrey; 10th July 2019 at 06:23 AM..
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Eller Eller is offline
Posted 19th July 2019, 12:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 8
Thank you both for sharing your thinking. We are still undecided about where to try the release but have them in a large bird cage inside our screened gazebo at this time as we continue to raise them and get them used to being outside. We have had them since they were about 2 days old.
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 20th July 2019, 12:40 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
Posts: 2,362
I won't release a pigeon that I've raised since 2 days old. They will have zero survival skills and be much too tame. You will be doing them a huge favour by keeping them. If you have the space available, they can live a long and happy live in an outside aviary.
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Eller Eller is offline
Posted 20th July 2019, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 8
Thank you, Marina. I have gotten pretty attached to the as well, making this is the direction I was leaning, but wasn't sure if this was in the best interest of the birds. If I build them a coop outside, do you know if they will come and go from this? Or should I plan on a coop that keeps them contained. I assume they would need enough room to do a bit of flying in this coop? Do you have any recommendations on books or articles on how to help me build my knowledge of how to care for them as outdoor pets successfully (i.e. size and style of coop needed, caring for them in winter, etc.).
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 21st July 2019, 12:05 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
Posts: 2,362
I keep my rescues in a very large aviary and I don't let them out. Too many things can go wrong: they might get spooked by a hawk, get lost and will starve out there.

Try to build them the largest aviary possible, you might find more rescues later on and then at least you will have room for them. Nothing smaller than 3 x 3 square metres and maybe you can extend later on. Position the aviary so that they receive the maximum sunlight during the day. Cover a third of the aviary for protection against wind and rain. Provide them with enough perches.

If you google: "pigeon/dove aviary images" you will get lots of ideas. You can always post a photo when finished so that we can make recommendations.
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Ladygrey Ladygrey is offline
Posted 21st July 2019, 07:19 AM
Join Date: Dec 2016
Country: ************
Posts: 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eller View Post
Thank you, Marina. I have gotten pretty attached to the as well, making this is the direction I was leaning, but wasn't sure if this was in the best interest of the birds. If I build them a coop outside, do you know if they will come and go from this? Or should I plan on a coop that keeps them contained. I assume they would need enough room to do a bit of flying in this coop? Do you have any recommendations on books or articles on how to help me build my knowledge of how to care for them as outdoor pets successfully (i.e. size and style of coop needed, caring for them in winter, etc.).
Depending on where you live and the climate would determine what kind of loft is best. All you need is a small one.

The basics for pigeons is, they need the loft to be dry, protected from chill winds if in a colder climate. A space to go out such as an aviary , to get direct sunlight and or sit in the rain, as they like to do at times.

Perches, the box perch is ideal imo. Google pigeon box perches . When they mature they can nest in those if you have a hen or even two hens, or cock and hen. Use fake eggs if you have a cock and hen. If you have two males , they would use them still as regular perching.

Make it at least 6 ft tall but not higher, as they are hard to catch if it is high, in case you need to look someone over and or give meds.

Lofts are off the ground , with a wood floor, which can be scraped of droppings.

If you live in a hot climate then a more open aviary type loft can be fine, to allow more airflow. But I’m not sure where you are..

Also think of your needs to , ease of cleaning, a small door to get in would be ideal , so you can clean in there.

Google image “ small pigeon lofts”, keeping in mind your climate.

Pigeons are from domestic stock so keeping them in a domestic situation is not cruel, as it may be for a true wild species of bird. As I mentioned before, people who rescue a feral kitten and tame him, would not release him back to be feral , as they are domesticated pets. Pigeons can be and are like this as well.
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Eller Eller is offline
Posted 21st July 2019, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 8
Thanks to both of you. I can't say how much I appreciate your expertise and advice. My husband and I live in the coastal area of SC, and are excited about giving Pip and Squeak a good home. I am eager to set off on deciding what to provide them. Right now I have borrowed a larger bird cage (3X4x5). We have this inside a screened in gazebo and keep them in here during the day. We have a natural area in our yard that is a possibility for building an aviary for them. I was considering building the aviary inside the gazebo for ease of visiting and socializing with them. They would not have access to rain or much direct sunlight in here though.
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